Greener Transport Solutions

Focus of work

Greener Transport Solutions is a not for profit organization dedicated to the decarbonisation of transport. Its current focus is the development of ‘A Manifesto for Decarbonising Transport’.

Transport is the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions and the biggest emitting sector of the UK economy. We believe that new thinking will be needed if we are to rise to the scale of the challenge. Emissions in the UK are 4% higher than in 2013, and only 3% lower than in 1990. As they outline in their paper Rising to the Challenge, every aspect of how we plan for transport will need to change. The aim of ‘The Manifesto’ is to develop a credible and politically deliverable framework for decarbonising transport.

The key challenge will be to deliver the necessary emissions reductions, in the shortest time possible, whilst ensuring a fair and just transition. 62% of future emissions reductions will rely on individual choices but the Government has not yet properly engaged with the public on the substantial behaviour changes needed. It is intended that ‘The Manifesto’ will build support for some of the politically challenging solutions needed such as increasing fuel duty if we are to achieve net zero.

Impact

The Manifesto will help to refocus government policy on a whole-systems approach to transport decarbonisation that reflects the shift to digital connectivity and the integration of transport with land use planning, energy and green finance. The decarbonisation of transport cannot occur without changes to the wider economy.

There also needs to be a clear recognition in government policy that technical solutions alone won’t get us to net zero. Much more focus should be given to behaviour change. We must ensure that fares and taxes encourage people to make lower carbon travel choices. At the same time, it is vital that the transition to net zero is fair and just, and that low income households are not penalised. We must ensure that access to essential services, whether by transport or digital means, is available for all.

More devolution deals would drive faster delivery of UK wide net zero targets. Government should enable local leaders to plan for long term sustainable and inclusive growth and ensure that local authorities are sufficiently resourced. We need to reform transport funding, appraisal and governance so that local areas can plan for housing, jobs and transport on an integrated long term basis.

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